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Faculty helps students in EPB relocation

BY MITCH MCANDREW | DECEMBER 01, 2014 5:00 AM

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The discovery of mold in the English-Philosophy Building in early September prompted partial evacuation of the building and extensive cleanup.

Now, officials plan preventive measures.

The UI is awaiting bids for a project that aims to reduce the threat of mold in EPB.

“[The project] will restore the interior finish, improve surface drainage, and add additional dehumidification capacity,” said Wendy Moorehead, communications manager for UI Facilities Management.

This improvement is estimated to cost about $170,000, and the UI hopes to have it finished by the beginning of spring classes, Moorehead said.

Extensive cleanup and hazardous health conditions have relocated some of the building’s staff members.

Several teaching assistants, whose offices were located in the affected parts of the EPB’s basement, were moved to Seashore Hall for the remainder of the fall semester.

The displaced will be moved back upon completion of the remaining repair work, officials said.

The UI hired ServiceMaster 380, a restoration service from Cedar Rapids, for the cleanup, which officials said was thorough.

“The bottom 2 feet of drywall, lots of office furniture, and pipeline insulation were all removed,” Moorehead said.

The cleanup totaled $18,000 in fees paid to ServiceMaster 380.

Moorehead noted that not all of the removed materials had mold, but they were removed as a precautionary measure.

Some of the inconvenience of TAs moving across campus has been eased thanks to helpful department faculty.

“The department heads have been very supportive,” said Corey Hickner-Johnson, a graduate TA in the Rhetoric Department and one of those relocated.

While some TAs were relocated, some were able to remain in the EPB.

“The Rhetoric and English Departments graciously accommodated our needs by relocating us to Seashore Hall or allowing us to take up office space with friends and colleagues in the EPB,” Spenser Santos, a graduate student TA and representative of the graduate-student union, wrote in an email.
Faculty members also lent a hand to their students.

“Faculty in both departments have been kind enough to offer their offices with students,” Santos said.

Santos also said the TAs affected by the changes were fortunate in that the Rhetoric Department had just completed its project of creating a lounge space the previous semester.

“They have been good enough to allow us the use of that lounge space — even those of us not on Rhetoric appointments — since our own lounge space in the basement is out of commission,” Santos said.

Hickner-Johnson said the graduate student TAs are grateful for the helpful nature of the departments.

“It shows that the faculty really want their students to succeed,” Hickner-Johnson said.

Despite the generosity, she said the move has made it challenging to do her job.

“It’s just hard not to have somewhere to hang your hat,” she said.


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